Algorithms normally used to track aircraft, ships and other vehicles are being used to monitor space junk and predict where it will go.
Currently the US Department of Defense tracks around 17,300 objects the size of a softball or larger, orbiting around the Earth at speeds of up to seven kilometres per second.
They can cause serious damage if they collide with something else. Last year a tiny paint fleck caused a crack in a window of the International Space Station.
Continue reading Tracking space junk
A computer algorithm originally developed to model the West African Ebola pandemic in 2014 is being used to predict flu outbreaks in Australia months in advance, and could help in the fight against bioterrorism.
Developed by Australian Defence scientists, the tool was originally used to forecast the number of people infected with Ebola up to two months in advance.
Continue reading Using algorithms to predict flu outbreaks
Flocking birds and schooling fish are the inspiration for creating a swarm of drones that can pilot themselves, and relay critical information to combat soldiers when other communication channels aren’t available.
Defence researchers are building the software to make this a reality, as part of the Self-organising Communications and Autonomous Delivery Service project.
While they’re currently working with octocopter drones (a drone with eight rotors), the software could also be used in self-driving buggies and underwater vehicles. Continue reading Drone swarms that can think for themselves